Monday, January 9, 2017

01/02/2017 This year's gonna be BIG

Hey People!

Sorry I didn't get an email out last week. This will be my Christmas/new years update :)

Christmas Eve was one for the books. We spent it with the Fulkerson family. Never met people like them in my life. They were super welcoming, live in a dome house in the woods, and might be werewolves. We had a good time playing Christmas party games and feasting! They had projector lights on their dome ceiling, it felt like a planetarium. Way cool!

Christmas was wonderful. It's definitely best to celebrate it on a Sunday. The Spirit in sacrament meeting was ultra-soothing. It was like a spiritual jacuzzi, I was just soaking it in. We had some awesome hymn performances and sang like 6 standing congregational hymns. Doesn't get much better. My family is getting pretty good at getting me gfits too! (And by family, I mean mom.) I got some great things in the mail, that always feels good too. We didn't have a white Christmas D: But it was crazy foggy soooo count it? We got to spend the day with the Duane Sherrell and family who live just across the street from us. Duane is the funniest man, he's got a heart of gold and was baptized a year or so ago. When people wonder what people in Missouri sound like, I want them to talk to Duane hahaha.

Wednesday I conducted district meeting, that was a fun change of pace. Our little zistrict is pretty solid, and we had a great meeting. Then we spent the rest of the day driving to perform two baptismal interviews in different areas across the far reaches of the zone. One was down in lil Ash Flat Arkansas. Never heard of it? Neither has anyone. We missionaries in the Arkansas Bentonville Mission cover all the nooks and crannys of God's green earth. People hide in the smallest places! The interviews went well and both candidates were baptized this weekend. New year, new life :)

Have I told you much about my companion Elder Walker? He's about 1 foot shorter than me and silent as a ghost. When he starts chuckling I know I've finally made a good joke. We get along great!

In other important news, my diet has gone splendidly and I've lost a full 10 pounds since I've been here :D My pants fit! Carbs are of the devil, people. That's why they're so appealing, because they're designed to hurt you. Haha I feel a lot healthier in general, less hungry all the time, I don't have afternoon drowziness or overwhelming food-comas anymore. Who'd have thought?

I'm genuinely excited about this new year. This year is going to be big. This year marks the beginning of the rest of my life. I'm excited to practice all the skills and lessons I've learned as I tackle the world. That being said, to celebrate the start of this year I spent the entire day of new year's eve in bed, in agony, with some atrocious sickness that wiped out half the ward. Few survivors. It was not fun. I couldn't hold anything down. But that's all over now, and 2017 is here baby.

We had transfer calls last night. Weird right? We had a mid-transfer transfer because our Oklahoma zones finally lost jurisdiction to the OKC missionaries. We are bringing all our missionaries over there to various parts of the mission tomorrow. Our zone picked up 4 new elders, and they made two districts out of us instead of one! We are helping them move into their new apartment over in Mountainless-View about an hour or so away. Just like that, our zone grew 40% overnight! RIP all my favorite areas in Oklahoma... There's no telling what those OKC missionaries will do to you.

I've been thinking a lot obviously about what this new year holds for me, and above any other emotion, I experience hope. Because of Jesus Christ, I can be who I want to be. That feels good.

Here's to a new one, see you down the road :)

Elder Hakes
1 year older and wiser too

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